Nittany Lions Fans Plan Trips to Fiesta Bowl

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SCRANTON -- Penn State fans can now make their plans, it's now official. The Nittany Lions are headed to the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in Arizona in a few weeks.

The news is less than a day old and already Penn State fans are making plans to head west.

Weeks before the Nittany Lions take the field at the University of Phoenix Stadium, it's go-time for John Madden at Travelworld in Scranton.

"It's incredible," Madden said. "When they announced the bowl games at 3 o'clock yesterday, all the lines lit up. I had a full staff here. People are very excited."

Madden's packages start at about $2,300, and everything is included -- transportation, a downtown Phoenix hotel, and lower level seat tickets as Penn State takes on the Washington Huskies.

Madden says a lot of fans would have preferred to see the Lions go to the Cotton Bowl, and it will be difficult to top the interest in the Rose Bowl back in January.

His packages for that game were sold out just about a day after the Rose Bowl trip was announced. But Madden says location is almost irrelevant to Penn State fans. They will follow their team.

John Zelinski of J Z Tours agrees.

"Whatever bowl game they're going to be in, it's a sure thing that Penn State fans will follow. It's guaranteed," Zelinski said.

At the Penn State campus in Dunmore, students we spoke with pretty much have the same opinion as people at the travel agency. They will follow their team, no matter where they go, no matter who they play. But these students will do their following on television rather than jetting to Arizona.

Joe Lombardo and Joshua Burch hoped for a higher-profile bowl.

"Where we ended up, I'm not too happy with it, but I'm glad we at least have something," Lombardo said.

"It's not ideal, but it still shows we have a lot of potential as a team and they're only to get better from here," Burch added.

These students see the Fiesta Bowl as a morale builder because the Penn State bowl ban is still a recent memory.

The Fiesta Bowl is set for 4 p.m., December 30. You can see the game on ESPN.

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